With Bandai releasing about 30 – 40 new models annually and over 2,300 different Gundam models already available, many people wonder what makes these Gunpla models so popular, and why they simply don’t stay on the shelf for too long.
Why do people like Gunpla?
People love Gunpla models for many different reasons. Not only are they beautiful plastic replicas of the characters in a highly popular show, they also offer a very fun activity known as Gunpla model building.
Gunpla modeling is a satisfying and quickly addictive hobby. When you start building these models, you will see why experienced modelers have display stands full of them. Once you build one model, you want another and another again after that.
Not only is it a fun experience, but Gunpla modeling also comes with several benefits. It helps you become more creative, while also providing a great and rewarding activity that you can enjoy in your leisure time.
Apart from building these Gunpla being a fun activity, it also comes with a great community where you can learn more about the models and show, and even spend some time bashing your models.
The world of Gundam models is also very easy to get into and you can quickly become a pro at building and displaying these models, even if you’re not a fan of the show (although I don’t know why you wouldn’t be).
Gunpla is based on the popular Gundam anime
Gundam is a combination of the English word “gun” with the last syllable of the word “freedom” to form the portmanteau Gundom/Gundam.
The Gundam is a Japanese military fiction media franchise that features giant robots or mecha from the popular anime series “Mobile Suit Gundam”.
The Gundam anime stands out as one of the most iconic anime series of all time and is actually one of the largest and most influential exports in the Japanese economy.
Why is Gundam so popular?
Gundam has a message of grit, hanging on to hope, compassion, and treating each other with kindness. The infusion of humanity into the storylines are core values that resonate with the audience, making them want to see more about the show and its characters.
Back then, the anime mecha series was only based on the Super Robot genre that could do everything and anything. But the Gundam anime offered a more realistic show to watch, robots that required a maintenance crew, supplies, and technological upgrades.
It also provided insight into character development, providing insight on dealing with many social issues facing the world and using that line to develop the main characters.
8 reasons that make Gunpla so popular
The popularity of the show pushed people to find out more about the models and buy them before they ultimately fell in love with Gunpla.
Here are the 8 reasons that make Gunpla so popular among hobbyists around the world.
1. Gunpla is really easy to get into
Gunpla is popular because it is super easy to get into building Gunpla. You do not need any expert knowledge of engineering or design.
Some of the models simply require you to fix the parts together, all you may really need is the ability to understand and interpret simple diagrams.
2. It is easy to get better at gunpla
Gunpla models are popular because of how easily you can learn to build them and get better at the craft. And although some kits are more complex than others, you can easily start with the simpler models and work your way up.
It is also best that you invest in some tools to make the process easier, and you should also know the best grades to start out with.
You can easily identify the level of complexity by their grade. With the High Grade HG (1/144) being the easiest and the Perfect Grade / PG (1:60) as the most complex.
3. The community is very active
One of the many benefits that people love about Gunpla models and modeling is that it provides a very active and welcoming community. The community that has been formed by Gunpla builders is one with like-minded people where you can easily make new friends.
There are active communities of Gundam enthusiasts that hold weekly discussions, tutorials, and challenges where members can win some great prizes.
4. It gives people a frame for creativity
Humans have the innate ability to create, design, and form new ideas. Gunpla allows people to constantly express their creativity and build amazing things.
Building a gunpla stimulates your creative juices, boosts your imagination, and significantly improves your motor skills. The benefits that these models provide are too many for people not to be intrigued by them, and they have become popular as a result.
You’ll be amazed by the awesomeness that you people can actually create with their Gunpla kits using the right tools and equipment.
5. Gunpla has a kit for each level and the variety is huge
Gunpla is also very popular because there is no limit to who can join, and there is a never-ending supply of new models that you can choose from.
Beginner or not, there is a kit that’s perfect for you so you do not need to bother about where to start. You can easily pick a kit that matches your expertise and begin from there.
And with the Gundam series having so many spin-offs that happened in different universes, there is almost an infinite amount of choices you can pick from. The variety ensures that the fun never ends!
6. People love robots
Robots have a profound influence on humans, so it comes as no surprise that these “robot-looking” models have become very popular.
Robots have come to hold a deep sense of attachment, empathy, and engagement with humans. This is seen in the popularity of movies like Transformers, Terminator, and Robocop.
Most of the time the stories they tell help us with the many varied qualities in humans that shape our relationships, insights, and actions.
These all play a part in boosting the popularity of these models among humans, making them very likable.
7. They are collectible items
People love collectible items, and Gunpla models are the perfect items to collect. This played a significant part in boosting the popularity of not only the kits, but also the shows as people were more willing to watch more and get introduced to new characters.
And luckily for you, there is a wide variety that you can choose from. You will definitely see a few models that are eye-catching enough to make you add them to your collection.
8. The engineering and design of a Bandai’s gunpla kit are much appreciated
The specific detail and engineering precision that Bandai puts into creating Gunpla is super amazing and it continues to draw more and more popularity to the models.
The detail and precision of the Gunpla parts keep getting better as more models are released, and Gundam fans are definitely loving the intricate designs and engineering of their kits.
How Big is Gunpla in Japan?
The first ever Gunpla was released in July 1980 and ever since, there has been a surge in demand and production. A whopping sale amount of 500 million units of Gunpla has been recorded in the region.
This is because the Gundam Robot anime has become a popular cultural icon in Japan, telling stories that teach the very tenets of kindness, hope, and compassion, directly resonating with the Japanese culture.